Circular Economy

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This chapter explores the circular economy and its implications for supply chain management. The chapter begins with a brief introduction to the circular economy, focusing on the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s butterfly diagram as a visual representation of the circular economy. The linear economy is contrasted with the circular economy, which represents a systemic shift that delivers business, economic, environmental and societal benefits. The chapter reflects on the challenges and opportunities associated with implementing a circular economy, emphasising the need for systemic thinking, which is often lacking in current approaches to implementation by businesses. Finally, the chapter concludes by highlighting the need for a transition to a circular economy, which will require changes to our economic models, social norms, behaviours and regulatory frameworks. While challenging, this transition is critical to achieving truly sustainable development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Supply Chain : A System in Crisis
EditorsStefan Gold, Andreas Wieland
Number of pages18
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Publication date2024
ISBN (Print)9781803924915
ISBN (Electronic)9781803924922
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Circular economy
  • Supply chain management
  • Butterfly diagram
  • Biological cycle
  • Technological cycle
  • Sustainable development

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